WELCOME READERS! Lone Pine Farms takes pride in recognizing our “Local Vendors” through our Blog. Today we are featuring “Annie” designer of the Country Totes ! I happened to meet Annie at a Holiday Bazaar last winter, and thought her product would be a perfect fit for our Market. The tote bags are farm oriented, so colorful, sturdy with superb craftsmanship, and they are “Locally Made” something Lone Pine Farms is proud to support! Here are a few questions that I asked Annie so that you will be able to get to know her product better . . .
1. When was your business established?
I started making these Country Totes about 8 years ago, around 2005, when I first got chickens. I started buying feed and noticed that the feed bag had a nice sketch of a chicken. It felt silly to throw away such a cute bag, so I experimented with turning it into a grocery tote. My sister-in-law got the first one as a birthday gift. That first one was quite a bit different than the ones I make now. I like to think I’ve improved on them since then.
2. What was the inspiration for opening your business?
I couldn’t throw the cute bags away. They started piling up so I started making them and selling them at craft fairs. Other people started giving me their bags with other animals on them (horses, cows, goats, pigs, game birds, and more) so I had a good variety.
3. How did you acquire the knowledge for what you sell?
Trial and error. My grandmother sews and she gave me a few pointers. Other than that I got feedback from family (who all got them for gifts…whether they liked it or not).
4. What was your ultimate goal when you decided to open your business and has that changed?
My ultimate goal is to keep the empty feed bags out of the landfill. I love that they are being repurposed and are recyclable. Someone went to a lot of trouble to design really cool looking bags and I’d like people to enjoy them for a long time before they get recycled.
5. Why are small businesses important to our community?
Small, local businesses account for a lot of jobs in our community. A real highlight is being able to know where your products come from and the people who make them.
6. What do you find most rewarding about owning your own business and the product you create?
It makes me so happy when someone loves one of my totes, especially someone who hadn’t really thought about reusing something like this. I love when it makes people think of other things that they might be able to repurpose.
Anything else you want to add, about yourself, hobbies, etc.
You can also find Country Totes on Facebook!